Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2014 Mar 30. pii: S0020-7292(14)00160-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2014.03.010.

Increasing access to legal termination of pregnancy and postabortion contraception at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia

Macha S, Muyuni M, Nkonde S and Faúndes A

Abstract

The Zambian Association of Gynecology and Obstetrics is one of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) member societies participating in the FIGO Initiative for the Prevention of Unsafe Abortion and its Consequences from the East, Central, and Southern Africa region. The activities included in this country's plan of action were to provide access to safe abortion within the full extent of the law to women receiving care at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, and to increase the proportion of women leaving the hospital with a contraceptive method. Zambian law regarding abortion is liberal, but in general it was not applied until very recently. The proportion of legal terminations of pregnancy among patients receiving abortion care at the hospital increased from 3.2% in 2009 to 7.7% in 2011, while the percentage of women leaving the hospital with a contraceptive method increased from 25.3% to 69.4% over the same period.

Comment: We know that making abortion legal makes it safer for women. This report also shows that many more women leave the facility with a reliable contraceptive method, which is crucial to preventing the next unwanted pregnancy. (HMV)